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  • Niwrka P

Nails: A Run-Down.-

By: Niwrka P. - Brand Identity Designer | Skincare Professional.-

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From ancient history, fingernails have been a part of many traditions and myths over time. They have been a home for many superstitions to breed, especially in the olden days. Legend has it that it was customary for nails to be trimmed and buried with the person after they passed away.

Sixthtone shares that In the Zhou era, from 1046-256 BCE.

Fingernails and clippings of the deceased were placed in their coffin and buried alongside the dead.

They were a gift for the mortal’s parents in the afterlife.

Ancient History

In the Qing Dynasty which reigned from 1616 to 1911, fingernails were considered a portrayal of affection. At the time, a dying maid would bite her long nails and gift clippings to her master to prove her love.

As much as this portrayal of love, the sacrifice was duly noted because nails also held great importance. They took considerable time to grow, so to clip them for a lover was considered genuine affection.

Sixthtone also discussed how nails were protected in the Ming (1348 – 1644) and Qing dynasties. Women adorned accessories to protect their nails. During that time, metal, jade, and shells were used as coverings or, as the Chinese called it, hu Zhi.

Fast forward to the 1800s and 1900s, manicure fashion came into existence.

Cuticle cleaning and buffing nail beds were a trend that set itself into motion. The Victorian Era was in full bloom, and untidy nails were looked down upon. Hygiene was necessary at the time, so everyone jumped on the bandwagon. That was when manicures entered the scene. Mary E. Cobb is known as the first American who opened up her own manicure salon in the year 1878. She had studied nail care in France, and her interest led to her creating a nail maintenance system.

Renusalon and Spa state that in the 1900s, maintaining fingernails was considered on the medical side. The stock market experienced a depression in 1929 when people started developing an interest in manicures. It was an affordable way to keep the luxury alive.

Revlon launched a nail polish product on the market in 1932. That’s when people thought of color and nails as a thought that they would like to see.

Through The Years

Over time, singers started showing off different types of nails. Other types of nail shapes entered the scene. There was various square, rounded, oval, almond, and stiletto nails.

Nails experienced much diversity over time, with celebrities setting the tone. The French manicure was introduced in the year 1978. At the time, square shapes took over. Some years later, famous nail polish company OPI, a then-dental supply company, converted denture acrylics to a product better suited for fingernails. Nail extension completely changed the industry and brought it much forward in terms of growth and success.

Soon enough, the beauty industry had progressed toward a rise in acrylics, and more colors were birthed from primary colors.

Nail Polish

Cleopatra is known to have painted her nails deep, blood red. According to Byrdie, Cleopatra used henna on her nails by dipping each finger in the henna just up to the point where she could coat her nails.

At the time, nail polish ingredients were beeswax, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and egg whites. Colors decided status ranking; for instance: the lower class wore light colors while the elite class adorned bright red nails.

In the early 1980s, Essie Weingarten came up with her nail polish collection. The success led to her getting celebrity endorsements, the first at the time.

A Run-Down

Let’s have a run-down through the times.

In 5000 BC, Indian women used henna to paint their nails. As time progressed, in 3000 BC, Chinese people came up with the idea and formulaic equation of nail polish. Their version wasn’t as advanced, which meant the lacquer required hours to dry off.

During the Victorian era, 1800AD, manicures became a trend when European women began adapting to them. During this time, hygiene was a significant cause of concern, so women had to ensure that their nails were neat and clean.

As the 1900s came about the 1920s, the nail arena experienced a comeback of the mighty red and the moon manicure. After Revlon launched its nail polish, dentist Maxwell Lappe created sets of fake nails for his clients who bit their nails.

A jump from the 1930s to the 1970s occurred when keeping long nails came into fashion. Since growing nails took time, the culture of wearing fake long nails soon became popular.

In the 1980s, bright colors soon started attracting the scene, and nails were popping fuchsias and shocking neons. A decade later, traditional colors took the front seat, and lowkey subtle colors and a conventional red came back to the scene.

In the 21st century, the nail industry experienced another rise when nail art took over. Now there are various types of embellishments and textures that you can apply to your nails. What’s surprising is that nail art is exceptionally intricate, yet it’s clean. There’s no mess, and it’s all done rather neatly.

Now we have a wide array of acrylic, gel, 3D, airbrushing, and stamping available. New colors are created out of existing ones, and different patterns are the forte of any salon you enter.

Click below to check the full list of my favorite manicure and pedicure products that will have you swooning all over.

These are the perfect treatment for your nails.

Your nails might not be what someone’s eyes are set on, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve care. They’re small but still a part of your body.